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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spiced Fig and Honey Moon Ale Cupcakes with Honey, Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean Buttercream

This moist and delicious cupcake recipe comes from Kathy Partak who won the Gold Country Fair Crazy for Cupcakes competition last month.  As you recall, Jacqueline and I entered this contest...We didn't place, but we're already planning to blow their frosting off next year!  Seriously, Kathy was gracious and generous in sharing this winning recipe.  I, of course, in true BIWB fashion made a few, booze-infused modifications.  Here are views of the cupcake and a shot of the primary ingredients:

I used the flour and fat method, yet again...Great success this time as well.  Our fellow baking nerd, Nancy, said that this is the BEST I've made so far.  Thanks, Nancy, you keep me inspired.  :)

Chop up the fresh figs into a small dice.  You could use dried figs, but I didn't.  If using dried, I'd plump them up a lot. 


Sift and mix the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.  Add the oil and mix on low/medium-low until you get a fine-ish crumb.  Look here to see the crumb that you're looking for in the mixer.  Combine the other liquid ingredients in a medium bowl and combine.  It'll foam up like this...That's the Honey Moon Ale in action!
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and combine on low.  Scrape at least once, please...Trust me.  You will achieve a nice smooth batter.  Remember, please do not over beat.  Gently fold in your diced figs.

A loose batter for sure...
Fill your cupcake liners to 3/4 full.  I used my new #12 scoop, which is 2.6 oz to be exact.  I'm into VOLUME these days.  I'm convinced that with the right pans, recipe, liners, and oven variables (temp/convection) I can achieve maximum density and subtleness of the finished cake.  I have cupcake dreams, my friend.  :)

A shot to get you excited about this recipe, which follows...

Spiced Fig and Honey Moon Ale Cupcakes with Honey, Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean Buttercream
(Adapted from Kathy Partak’s 1st Place winning recipe from the 2011 Gold Country Fair Crazy for Cupcakes Competition)
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Honey Moon Ale (or other light ale)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup finely diced fresh figs (about 2 whole figs), or 1/3 cup chopped dried figs (soaked in hot water until plump)

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In mixer bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, spices, salt and sugars.   Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.  Add the oil and mix for about one minute on medium until you achieve a fine crumb.
In a small bowl, whisk together lightly beaten egg, beer, buttermilk, and extracts.   Add to the mixer and mix on medium speed until well blended.  About a minute, scrap bowl as needed. 
Fold in the figs.
Fill cupcake liners.  I used a #12 scoop, which is 2.6 oz., so that’s more like ¾ full.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until set, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to completely cool.

For frosting, cream butter, milk and vanilla bean in electric mixer on low for 1-2 minutes until creamy and almost emulsified.  Scrape a few times.  Slowly add sugar and beat until smooth, scrap along the way, increasing speed to medium.  Add 1 tbsp honey and cinnamon and mix for 30 seconds on medium until combined.   Add honey in 1 tbsp increments until you get the spreading/piping consistency that you like.  (I didn’t use more than 2 tbsp.)  Increase to medium high and beat for about 1 minute until fluffy.  Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

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  1. It sounds great! never heard of fig cupcakes!

  2. I'm not even a fan of figs but your photos had me drooling and craving a cupcake. YUM!!

  3. I love this combination! Too bad we don't live closer--we'd have a great little shop, don't you think.

  4. Thanks everyone for the kind comments...And, I'd really give these a try even if figs aren't your favorite. Subtle. :)

    @Susan: Agreed, and you actually live in the same town as my sis. What's the best bakery in your area? :)))


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